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Random, Lasting Encounters

Photographer Hai Zhang seeks human connection through portraits in Harlem and the Bronx, in New York.

Photography is often used to evade one's own reality and absorb what other people unpredictably, uncontrollably, are willing to share. This was Hai Zhang’s purpose when he stepped out of his door to meet people in Harlem and the Bronx in 2018, trying to break out of a period of isolation and unaware that another one, linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, would have followed relatively soon.

Shakka, East Harlem, New York, 2018

Mr. Tom, Harlem, New York, 2018

The Bronx, New York, 2018

Harlem, New York, 2018

For his series called The Beginning, Zhang exposed 365 rolls of film, one a day for a year. His photos speak about the energy of Northern Manhattan, the openness of people and their stories, which he collects and treasures as gifts, and the randomness of encounters that New York City always surprises with.

Mr. Collin, Harlem, New York, 2019

Ms. Bollmick, Harlem, New York, 2018

Mr. James, Harlem, New York, 2019

For more information on
The Beginning
visit Hai Zhang’s website.

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